This year at Readercon looks like it will be loads of fun. In particular because for the first time, I get to participate in the Kirk Poland Memorial Prose Competition. I am SO looking forward to that. Also feel free to catch me if you want to ask SFWA questions at any point over the course of the weekend.
Imagine or Die
8:00 PM, Salon G
Talk / Discussion (90 min.)
A writer without a working imagination is stymied. We’ll take about the care and feeding of imagination, how to unleash it and let it run.
Barry B. Longyear with discussion by Lauren P. Burka, Gemma Files, Elaine Isaak, Mary Robinette Kowal, K. A. Laity, Resa Nelson.
Alternatives to the Pay-Per-Copy System of Author Compensation
12:00 Noon, ME/ CT
Paying writers or publishers for each copy of the work sold is a system that developed in response to the invention of the printing press. Now that physical copies are no longer necessary, and may no longer be the most convenient or popular means of consuming literature, what method of compensation or revenue generation should be attempted? A donation system? A system of teasers, where the reader pays to see the remainder of the work? A “membership” system, in which paid members get special access to drafts or extra materials? A “service” system?
Mary Robinette Kowal, Barbara Krasnoff, Eugene Mirabelli, Ken Schneyer (L), Charles Stross.
A Dramatic Reading of _A Midsummer Night’s Dream_, Act III
1:00 PM, RI
Event (60 min.)
Mike Allen, Inanna Arthen, John Crowley, Ron Drummond, Lila Garrott, Greer Gilman, Adam Golaski, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Mary Robinette Kowal, John Langan, Shira Lipkin, Benjamin Rosenbaum.
Don’t Sneeze on Me, Ridley Scott!: Influence as Contagion
3:00 PM, Salon F: Panel
William Gibson famously walked out after the first twenty minutes of Blade Runner out of concern that it would influence his unfinished Neuromancer manuscript — an “anxiety of influence” seemingly opposed to the “ecstasy of influence” we’ve talked about in the past. How common is this reaction? What might make it a good idea? Is avoiding transient contemporaneous influence tantamount to ignoring the zeitgeist? If so, how do writers strike the proper balance?
Jack M. Haringa (L), Mary Robinette Kowal, James Morrow, Resa Nelson, Allen Steele, Howard Waldrop.
Drop Out, Write On
7:00 PM, Salon F: Panel
Our panelists, all college drop-outs, discuss the ways that their unconventional career tracks have influenced their fiction writing.
Samuel R. Delany, Nalo Hopkinson, Elaine Isaak, Mary Robinette Kowal (L), Barry B. Longyear
Theodore Sturgeon Short Story Reading: “The Professor’s Teddy Bear” (1948) Vol. 4
2:00 PM, Suite 730
I read the classic Sturgeon story about a boy with an attachment to a peculiar stuffed animal has a strange relationship to a professor in the future.
The 24th Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Competition
8:00 PM, Salons F & G
: Event (115 min.)
Our traditional evening entertainment, named in memory of the pseudonym and alter ego of Jonathan Herovit of Barry N. Malzberg’s Herovit’s World. Here’s how it works: ringleader Craig Shaw Gardner reads a passage of unidentified but genuine, published, bad sf, fantasy, or horror prose, which has been truncated in mid-sentence. Each of our panelists–Craig and his co-moderator Eric M. Van, five-time champion Yves Meynard, and new challengers Mike Allen and Mary Robinette Kowal–then reads an ending for the passage. One ending is the real one; the others are imposters. None of the players knows who wrote any passage other than their own, except for Eric, who gets to play God as a reward for the truly onerous duty of unearthing these gems. Craig then asks for the audience vote on the authenticity of each passage (recapping each in turn by quoting a pithy phrase or three from them), and the Ace Readercon Joint Census Team counts up each show of hands faster than you can say “Twinkies of Terror.” Eric then reveals the truth. Each contestant receives a point for each audience member they fooled, while the audience collectively scores a point for everyone who spots the real answer. As a rule, the audience finishes third or fourth. Warning: the Sturgeon General has determined that this trash is hazardous to your health; i.e., if it hurts to laugh, you’re in big trouble. Note: this year’s competition will feature an as-yet undetermined mixture of new passages and “best of” highlights.
12:00 Noon, Vinyard
2:00 PM, NH/MA
I’ll be reading from my debut novel, Shades of Milk and Honey.